TV alert: “Masters of Science Fiction” premieres Saturday


Saturday at 10:00 p.m. on ABC, the four-part series Masters of Science Fiction debuts with “A Clean Escape.” The Twilight Zone–esque anthology sounds promising: The first part features Judy Davis as a psychiatrist investigating Sam Waterston‘s short-term memory loss, and later installments bring us Anne Heche and Elisabeth Rohm in other far-fetched tales.

But the promise may not have a payoff — so far, the reviews aren’t stellar. It’s not to be confused with Showtime’s successful, innovative Masters of Horror series; sadly, there’s no “Sick Girl” or other lesbionic Angela Bettis chapter here. And the time slot doesn’t exactly guarantee viewers. But I’ll tune in for almost anything Judy Davis does. She’s crazy-brilliant.

Speaking of that, I first noticed her in My Brilliant Career. Then there were A Passage to India, Where Angels Fear to Tread and the nightmare-inducing Naked Lunch. Oh, and a little something called Serving in Silence. She gets better and better: Did you see the way she channeled Nancy Reagan and Judy Garland in The Reagans and Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows? It’s hard to find a misstep in her career, especially if you overlook Gaudi Afternoon.

So whether Masters of Science Fiction will be worth it after the first episode remains to be seen. I do know that nearly everything Davis does is a master class in acting, and that’s enough for me.

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